SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- A fire burned down 227 stores at a marine products market in southwestern South Korea, with no casualties reported, Yonhap news agency said Tuesday citing the firefighting authorities.
The blaze erupted at about 11:08 p.m. local time Monday (1408 GMT) at the traditional marine products market in Seocheon county, some 170 km south of the capital Seoul.
It was completely extinguished almost nine hours later as firefighters had difficulty in putting out the blaze amid the strong wind and the packed structure of the market.
Out of the 292 stores in the market, 227 were burned down. The flame didn't spread to an annex building housing restaurants and agricultural products shops.
No casualties was reported as no one was inside the market when the fire broke out.
The fire authorities dispatched 361 firefighters and 45 fire engines to extinguish the flame, while the county officials sent messages to residents near the market encouraging them to flee from the poisonous gas leak.
The fire authorities were investigating the exact cause of the incident. ■